March 22, 2017 – Repeal of the Affordable Care Act could have a profound impact on women, as the law fundamentally changed women’s health coverage, benefits, and access to care.
In a new issue brief, the Kaiser Family Foundation outlines 10 ways women could be affected if the ACA is repealed or its provisions are otherwise eliminated or modified, including through changes proposed in the House Republican replacement bill, the American Health Care Act.
The brief discusses the potential impact on women of six provisions of the AHCA:
- Eliminating federal funds for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
- Capping federal funding available to states for Medicaid.
- Cutting off federal Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.
- Changing financial assistance in the individual insurance market, including how tax credits are calculated and how much insurers can account for age when determining premiums.
- Implementing new restrictions on coverage for abortions.
- Rescinding the requirement to cover essential health benefits, including maternity care, preventive services, and mental health care. The AHCA removes this requirement for Medicaid expansion, but does not address it for private plans.
The brief also examines the possible effect of four possible changes that are not included in the current House Republicans’ ACA replacement plan, but could be addressed later:
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- Eliminating the requirement that public and private plans cover preventive services without cost sharing, including cancer screenings and well-woman visits.
- Eliminating or modifying the requirement that most plans cover birth control without cost sharing.
- Weakening protections or benefits related to care for pregnant and postpartum women.
- Repealing ACA insurance reforms, such as prohibitions on charging women more than men for the same coverage or denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
This analysis, along with poll findings on women’s health coverage and federal funding for reproductive health, were discussed today at a web briefing for media hosted by the Foundation. An archived webcast of the briefing is available on kff.org.